A Room with a View

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to spend the night in a large, comfortable, en-suite room with excellent facilities and attentive service which commanded a stunning view over one of the most famous, turreted medieval bridges in Western Europe ……..

If I’d been paying premium rate to stay here, I would have been a little disappointed with the dismal weather.  The dreary, unending drizzle would have dampened any enthusiasm for sight-seeing.  However, if sunshine was lacking, there was no shortage of excellent drugs.

For, no sooner had I checked in than I was given two small, innocent-looking pills to take. Yes, a year after my fractured left tibia was cobbled back together, here I was, back in the same hospital, to have the titanium plate and screws removed from my leg.

I’d scrubbed myself top to toe, as instructed, with nicotine-yellow Betadine antiseptic both the previous evening and early in the morning and was now spotlessly microbe-free with fully electric and unruly hair.   Once installed in my room (bed on the window side, no room-mate yet) my leg was painted again with Betadine and, pills swallowed around 10am., I settled down to await the call to surgery.

Next thing I know it’s 15.29 according to my phone.  15.29!!  Had I had the operation without even noticing?!

I tore off the sheets to check.  No – naked leg with lumpy, subcutaneous infrastructure was still the same as at 10am.  Oh no, that meant it was unlikely I would be sent home that day as promised (pending multiple vehicle pile-ups).

Not long after, a pretty young man with distracting neck tattoos and fashionably (what do I know – it looked, er, trendy) sculpted hair, came to re-unite me with a bulky blue file and wheel the both of us down to the bowels of the building where I was reassured that at least three of us orthopaedics were to be “finished off” before the surgical team knocked off for the evening.

Having laid it on thick at the interview with the anaesthetist (and anyone else passing who would listen) that having a mask whacked, without warning, over my face scared the living daylights out of me (long story to do with training for a plane catching fire…) the mask was merely waved under my nose whilst I said, “Is this where I pass ou……”, having last looked at the clock at 18.20.  Next thing I know, it’s about an hour later and I’m coming to and being wheeled back to the Room with a View.

A little later the surgeon called in to tell me not to do anything strenuous any time soon, then a bland but welcome meal-on-a tray arrived and I scrambled together enough remaining brain cells to phone home and tell the husband that I’d had the op. and would be staying the night – thus freeing him up to relax with a glass of wine.   Then I succumbed to deepest, drugged sleep and had a wonderful night’s rest on a really comfortable bed.  (The very least a hospital can provide is a thoroughly comfortable bed one can leave as soon as possible – one way or the other.)

Two middle-aged gentleman nurses came in every couple of hours to check my blood pressure and change the drip and it hardly registered, so discreet were they.  A far cry from the cries and shouts that kicked off with the day shift;  joking, hooting and shrieking in the corridors from 7am on……….. and then my new room-mate was wheeled in by gravelly-voiced ambulancemen –  an elderly lady, deeply asleep or unconscious…… and, barely disturbed, I slept some more.

My room-mate slumbered with equal dedication as I snacked on tepid coffee, biscottes and redcurrant jelly;  a breakfast designed to fill you …with a desire to get out of hospital ASAP and I had barely finished, washed and dressed when husband arrived to take me home.

Nobody we asked on the ward had the remotest idea how to facilitate the discharge of a limping patient from a third floor room to a car not allowed to park any closer than 200 metres away in an underground car park, so I leaned against a wall outside the hospital in the driving rain whilst husband reclaimed the car and drove back to pick me up and take me home.

Now life’s on temporary hold again.  Though the leg is healing fast, things are complicated by a trapped sciatic nerve on my other side!  I’m only just daring to get close to the horses again, not wanting to be pushed over by an errant breath or a swish of the tail until I’m far more stable – pun intended.  But I can’t help just looking at them, in much the same famished way you eye up several slices of gâteau when you’re on a starvation diet.

Perhaps, soon, when we’re no longer in a car-wash state of weather and I’m all healed up again I’ll get some of that cavalière attitude back and be riding and posting about riding Pom again!

Theme tune this time:  Anne Peebles’ “Can’t Stand the Rain”

About cavaliereattitude

Englishwoman, transplanted to SW France in '86, blogging - with a large dose of humour and self-deprecation - about life with my husband and our horses, the never-ending renovation of an ancient and crumbly stone farmhouse and the attempt to carve a beautiful garden and productive pasture out of a woodland wilderness.........
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18 Responses to A Room with a View

  1. rontuaru says:

    Gosh I’ve been thinking about you a lot, knowing that your surgery was coming up soon, but not sure when. Sounds kind of haphazard, but I’m glad it’s done and you are on the mending list. I’ve been told the taking out of hardware is easier on the body than putting it in, but that said, please do take care and accept my heartfelt well-wishes for a speedy and glitchless recovery!!


    • I think I got some of the luck you missed out on with your dreadful eye surgeon. I’ve just been glad to read you’re back in the saddle and won’t have anything more to do with the same sadist. Thank you so much for the good wishes and I really hope your eyesight improves day by day as does my leg!


  2. ptigris213 says:

    Congratulations! I can tell you that American hospital beds are not the kind one can sleep in. They’re more like tables that can lift you up, but you never get a good night’s sleep anyway…there’s way too much noise, and the hospitals are kept icy cold. I hope the sciatic nerve settles down, that’s no fun, not at all.
    In this case, at least, losing ones’ metal (sic) is a good thing!


    • The comfortable bed was a real bonus! In fact, given that the trapped nerve happened overnight, it could be time to invest in a new mattress. Thank you for the congrats. and good wishes and I hope to be on my mettle, instead of the vanished metal soon 😀


  3. Heal quickly and strongly… you are wanted in the barn.


  4. twohorses says:

    I have to say your hospital sounds wonderful! I was in hospital here last year and first they had the wrong file, just as well I noticed, I shudder to think what they might have done to me. The promised blanket never arrived so I froze all night under my sheet and the hospital didn’t cater for vegetarians and all they could come up with was a plate of plain, boiled pasta, yammy! Fortunately I was discharged the following morning before I got sick.

    How unlucky you got a trapped nerve on the other side now! I hope you’ll be fully healed soon.


    • Yes, it’s a fine line whether you come out of hospital sicker than you went in! Sorry to hear you had a bad experience, but better now? It’s impossible being a vegetarian in hospital (well, in France generally), but the only meaty part of my meal was a couple of lean slices of ham, which I swallowed down as I was ravenous and needed the protein. (Bad veggy.) Having had two longer, more acute and unpleasant hospital experiences in the past year, this was a comparative doddle, as I was able to prepare for it and wasn’t so intimidated. It does make you want to take every possible precaution not to be back there though, doesn’t it?! Thank you for the good wishes (and the picadero explanation)! 🙂


  5. Elaine L says:

    Oh, you poor baby. Heal quickly, the sun will return!


  6. Elaine L says:

    LOL, if you never rode again, I would still love to read about your herd (family included). Never having been to Europe, allowing us into your world (for me) is an exotic panacea.


    • Elaine – to have the words ‘exotic’ and ‘panacea’ pitched towards me is all too tantalising ….. but I am in grumpy old waiting-for-scars-to-heal mood at the moment. However, I have something to look forward to: my glamorous Australian niece is to visit in July. Next blogs may be about finishing our renovation of the little barn to house her and three friends this summer! But after hearing about the trials you’ve overcome I am equally keen to hear how you and Dini are getting on – and I have an idyllic view of your life in Connecticut….


      • Elaine L says:

        Well I am happy to report Dini is doing very well with his ground driving. I don’t know if it’s his Freisian genes or his back pain has subsided. He is so good out on the road, nothing seems to bother him, and he seems to be a lot more willing to listen to my commands without pitching a hissy fit. Yesterday I worked him in the front pasture. I put him into the corner where he (originally) had his big blow up. He did give me a little bit of a hop, but when I gave him an “eh,eh, none of that”, he settled right down and simply went forward at the walk as I requested. The last time we were in that corner under saddle, we had bucking, spinning, and rearing! I have also driven him at the trot on the road with no problems. Today is the last day of ground driving with cavesson and surcingle. The next time we go out will be with saddle and bridle and the long lines will NOT be run thru the stirrups. This will be the first time in 6 months that he will wear his saddle. So we will see how he reacts. Even if his pain is totally gone, I still have to work him through the memory of both the pain and his bad reactions to having weight on his back. I will keep you updated. Have fun with your house guests. If your niece is a horsewoman she must know Clinton Anderson?! I have been to four of his clinics. He is so much fun!


  7. I will cross fingers and toes (as if I’m not disabled enough already!) that Dini accepts his saddle and that you can progress from there. If you want to keep me updated do feel free to email direct, I’m hooked now! Sadly the niece is not a rider, though has never had the chance, but I am due to meet an Australian rider living near to me, (also with an Andalusian,) so I shall ask her about Clinton Anderson.


  8. Ah the joys of the Betadine shower… it seems to be a French thing! Glad to hear you are on the mend, hope the sciatic thing goes away, with or without a new bed!


    • Ah the sciatic thing is a real pain in every sense, and still going strong. You were amazing to get back to riding so quickly after breaking your arm! By the way, just saw you’ve completed the challenge, so HUGE congratulations to you, Anne, Flurry, Gigi and the LSH. Have so enjoyed following your ride, but a shame we didn’t get to meet – will send a contribution to the cause! Hope real life’s not too humdrum after the big adventure ….or is there another one in the pipeline? 😉


  9. daseger says:

    Thanks so much for checking in on my blog and best wishes for a very speedy recovery!


    • Thank you for the good wishes – nearly back to normal! Have so enjoyed following your blog since discovering your unique Valentine’s post – particularly enjoy all the prints, photos and magazine references you unearth, plus your garden aesthetic – and your blogroll has been a source of joyful discovery too!


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